Depression is a challenge to live with. And if you don’t live with it, it can be a challenge to fully understand it. The challenge comes from the fact that the darkness of depression is full of contradictions.
One of the biggest contradictions for me is feeling like I am constantly doing too much while simultaneously feeling like I am lazy and not doing enough. I yo-yo back and forth, beating myself up for not getting more done as I flounder from having too much to do. My calendar is all over the past and my computer tries to hold on to all the post-it notes that I have to remind me of the things I need to get done that will never be enough, at least not for the demons in my darkness.
Yet that is not the only contradiction. There also is the contradiction of feeling incredibly isolated while also wanting everyone to stay away. My demons especially like this contradiction, delighting every time I withdraw, afraid to let others see the darkness. And it is easy to stay withdrawn thanks to yet another contradiction of depression, which is feeling exhausted despite never leaving your bed.
It is confusing and it is frustrating and has taken me the better part of a decade to learn to manage it.
Yet I do. Not on my own. I finally realized the contradictions of depression were keeping me trapped, so despite my body and my mind wanting to withdraw some more, I instead pushed myself to open up about my darkness and tell others about it. Most importantly I got help.
And then the most amazing contradiction happened.
Despite being certain that I was worthless and that everyone would leave me, they didn’t. Okay, so some people did, but this story isn’t about them. This is about the people, my friends and family, who fought through the darkness, who fought through the glum, and stuck with me, supporting me even when they didn’t understand the hell I was going through. And I am forever thankful for them.
And if you are struggling too, feeling like you couldn’t possibly open up about the darkness, I encourage you to do it anyway. Because depression thrives on the contradictions I mentioned above. Contradicting your own darker impulses and reaching though the darkness will allow you to find a contradiction that in my worst moments I never knew could exist, and that is finding light amid the darkness.
You are not alone. Even in the dark. Espescially in the dark.